Top Alcohol returns to Adelaide International Raceway for the Aeroflow Summer Speedfest in just under two weeks and carrying the Aeroflow flag in a big way will be Sydney driver Rick Gauci.
Since the last time Gauci raced at Adelaide in April 2012, he has upgraded the his Ford Mustang Funny Car with better ignition control as he seeks to tame the 1000 feet distance - unique to the Adelaide strip.
"We had traction issues last time as we didn't have an ignition system that allowed us to take timing out and that saw us getting massively sideways," he said. "Now we can apply the power gradually and take advantage of the track where it is good but be prepared for parts where it is tricky."
Gauci said that he expects more racers to find the tune up needed to go into the four second zone at the Aeroflow Summer Speedfest, to be held February 23 and 24. Winner of the last Top Alcohol championship round at Adelaide John Cannuli holds the current Top Alcohol track record at 4.898 seconds.
"We want to consistently get down the track and hopefully go under five seconds for the 1000 feet distance," Gauci said. "The AIR surface is getting better and better and I think a few of us (the Top Alcohol field) will be into the fours."
Gauci is one of the busiest people in Australian drag racing, spending time between racing his own Top Alcohol Funny Car as the general manager of Sydney Dragway and a board member of the Australian National Drag Racing Association – not to mention getting to drive a nostalgia nitro funny car for Australian drag racing legend Graeme Cowin at select events as well.
"It's been fun to run the nitro car, it's a little bit easier to drive actually as it leaves off idle and has been a nice introduction to nitro cars," he said. "I'd love to have one myself one day."
Gauci will be joined in Adelaide by a tough field including national champion Gary Phillips, former national champions Steve Reed and Wayne Newby, reigning event winner John Cannuli and South Australian stars Gary Busch, Yak Probst and Frank Intini.